10 Reasons To Get Involved in Open Source Development


I’m contemplating updating a piece I wrote a couple of years ago on why students should get involved in open source developmentand scribbled the following quasi-humorous list over lunch:

1. Think of it as step 1 on the road out of living in your parent’s basement, eating hot pockets and playing WoW day and night. (In retrospect those last two don’t sound so bad!)

2. College Education – $43,600; Ultimate Gaming Laptop – $4,700; Finding a bug in code written by Linus Torvalds – Priceless

3. Your open source submissions may distract prospective employers from those photos of  you dressed as David Hasselhoff  that your friends tagged on Facebook.*

4. If you like WoW, you’ll love open source - even your most pleasant interactions on some open source projects will feel like you’re taking on level 82 elite mobs in Icecrown.

5. While you may think that Drupal is your one true love, unless you code-around you’ll never know for sure.

6. If you get accepted into the Google Summer of Codeyou can get paid to write code in your Sponge Bob jim-jams.

7. You can get involved in serious debates about the benefits of translating a project into Klingon or sign up to join a project to Train a Toy Elephant.

8. Jeans and a t-shirt is “dressed-up”.

9. Your favorite “Bow before me, for I am root” t-shirt will pale in comparison to the collection of hilarious open source t-shirts that you’ll assemble.

10. Open Source is an EgoSystem and you know that you’re going to be king.

* – this is obviously fictional and any resemblance it may bear to a real Actian employee is purely coincidental.

About Emma McGrattan

As SVP of Engineering at Actian, Emma leads development for the Actian Vector team, including the Ingres and X100 components, and the Actian Matrix Planner team. A leading authority in DBMS technologies, Emma is celebrating 20 years in Ingres and Actian Engineering.

View all posts by Emma McGrattan →

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